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Training Accident with EDI Genesis

Mar 13, 1999
I have had no formal training.
I purchased the EDI Genesis, and Janich's "Knife Fighting A Practical Course".

Yesterday, I hung a piece of Carpet remnant. Tried some slashes, went fine. Then I tried a thrust... and the Genesis unlocked and folded on my index finger. Lotsa blood, clean cut, not quite to the bone. Got it patched up thanks to some advice from a buddy whose wife is a nurse.

Anyway, one reason I chose the Genesis over the Benchmade AFCK is that the liner lock is a little easier to unlock. (I realize now that this is a BAD thing.) If you look down at the liner lock, the right side of the handle has an index finger cutout that is deeper than the left side handle. This deeper cut makes for easy access to the liner lock. When I thrust, my grip may have tightened and hand may have slid just slightly forward. One or both of these motions unlocked the knife. OUCH!

My Grip cannot be THAT bad! (followed Janich's grip recomendations) If this knife needs such an exacting type of grip, could anyone maintain a precise grip during a real fight? I doubt it.

I'm either doing something really wrong, or I have discovered a major flaw with this "tactical" folder.

Honestly, I'm going to have serious doubts about any liner lock from now on. The liner lock should be recessed inside the handle, and difficult to release while gripping it.

We learn most from our mistakes. I think my mistake was choosing this knife, not my grip.
I hate to hear this, especially after reading through the thread that (I think) you started on the AFCK vs. the Genesis. It appears that you have found the weakness that a lot of people report with liner locks. I REALLY like the blade profiles on both, but always refused to buy either because they are liner locks.

I had one liner lock when I was in the Cub Scouts (6-8 years old?), that I folded up on my fingers several times. Fortunately, it was on an awl blade, instead of a cutting blade. Anyway, when I first noticed the liner locks becoming popular, I thought back to that experience. While that knife was just a cheap Camillus, and a brass lock, I knew, never another liner-lock for me. I don't own a single one. Lockbacks? Yeah. Axis lock? Yeah. But, I will take an unlocked blade over a liner. That way, I don't have any sense of security, false or otherwise.

Sorry it happened to you.

Believe me...I don't want to start the war between EDI and BM so please don't take this the wrong way.

I think that counter sunk liners are the way to go. I would have no problem thrusting a Stryker into a piece of carpet. However, I wouldn't try this with my Endura of my Ascent. I once had the "new" Military knife and I think that it is a great one, however I was worried about the liner lock. It was so exposed, and easy to disengage. The liner only "caught" a very small amount of the blade. The Stryker is definately the way to go as far as thrusting goes...but who only uses a knife for thrusting??? -AR

[This message has been edited by Jackyl (edited 16 March 1999).]

You're a quick learner. I'm glad you didn't lose your finger. You've run into what everyone who owns at least one liner lock and actually uses the lock hard runs into -- auto-disengagement. And you're also right that ease-of-disengagement is a very dangerous feature. However, that is not necessarily what happened to you. Many liner locks will auto-disengage based on just pressure (sustained or impulse) on the spine.

You can try 2 quick tests to see if that happened to you. First, lock the knife open. Being careful to keep your fingers out of the path of the blade, use palm pressure against the spine of the blade. If the liner seems to move *at* *all*, then a hard thrust such as what you did will almost certainly unlock it. The other thing you can try is a light whack on the spine of the blade against a hard surface.

If you go to the front page of bladeforums, click on Knowledge Base, then head into the FAQs, you'll find the Liner Lock Test FAQ. More on that inside.

BTW, as I mentioned in my reply in your previous thread, I find the AFCK's lock to be particularly solid. Of course, there are plenty of solid Genesises out there, too, and Spyderco Militaries, etc. It's possible to build a solid liner lock, but difficult to do so consistently every single time (some companies are better than others at this).
But my real recommendation would be to handle the Axis, or the Carnivore (or Spyderco's rolling lock knives when they come out). Speaking for the Axis, it will out-cut just about everything, the ergonomics are exceptional, and the lock is very solid.

Question for Nemo and others who do hard thrusting for testing purposes - how do you protect your hands from exactly what SStarling experienced?

Anyway, Joe, when you comment:

Speaking for the Axis, it will out-cut just about everything

Are you including the Military? I would have bet that the flat ground Military would be in the performance range of the Axis at least and the 440V (if you listen to CPM) should be able to take a much more acute secondary bevel than the ATS-34 on the Axis and thus outcut it while still having excellent edge retention and durability. The recurve on the Axis gives it a slight advantage though. Is it in plain edge yet?

I've got two in plain edge, one au naturel (sp? or whatever
), one in BT.

When I was trying to read this thread, one of my employees came in with his new S&W Swat folder and showed me how easy it unlocks when he grips it tightly. The liner on his knife sticks out quite a lot further than on my mini-AFCK. I showed him how to test the lock. It held up (that surprised me).



Merely speculating:

For slicing, the recurve doesn't give just a slight advantage, it gives a really nice advantage. Even the subtle recurve on the Axis bites in nicely. I would expect my somewhat thinned-out Axis to outslice a Military with the same edge bevels. For most push-cuts, I'd guess the nod would go to the full flat grind. I would love to test this theory...

The Axis is in plain edge, I have one!

I hadn't thought about comparing while taking the edge bevels closer. Do you mean 440V is tougher than ATS-34, so you can safely thin the edge more?


[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 16 March 1999).]
I have emailed you direct, but in case you read this first, let me start off by saying how sorry I am about your accident with our product. I sincerely hope your finger is ok, as you mentioned in your post. We would very much like to take a look at your GENESIS to ensure we know what the problem is[ whether a production flaw or accidental lock disengagement ]. Michael Collins, the designer of the knife and our prodution engineer, is EXTREMELY interested, and will be exaimining and rebuilding your knife personally. If you will email me your phone #, day or night, I will call you ASAP so as to expidite this matter.

Once again, I am very sorry that you have had this problem with the our knife, and I sincerely hope that your finger is alright. We want to take a look at that knife and do every thing we can to make you a happy EDI customer. I look forward to talking to you.

Best Regards,

Stay Sharp!
Will Fennell
President-EDI Knives
Yikes! SStarling, sorry to hear about that. I've taken Joe's recommendation about testing linerlocks to heart, since I do "practices" with my tacticals as well.

Thanks for sharing your pain. Hopefully, others will take time to test the locks on their knives before putting them through hard use.

Yep. Just proves what Joe's been saying about liner locks all along.

At least test it.

Better yet get a knife with a better/different lock. And forgedaboudit.

Hope your finger heals OK.

Maybe you should return it for a refund. And get an Axis or Rolling Lock. Think about it.
I know Will Fennel is very good about customer service, and the knife can probably be made right. And it's a good product. But, will you ever have the confidence to thrust with it again. Know what I mean?

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it

I don't take any chances. Before I even start to trust a liner lock, I tape it to a stick and do full power thrusts into a pine 2X8 with my hand well out of the way. If the lock proves reliable, then I will practice with it in my hand.

I like that testing method!
However, the problem with your test and the other liner lock tests is that they don't involve the hand actually gripping the knife. And with the genesis, I believe it was my grip tightening or shifting which dis-engaged the lock.
I've had the same thing happen with my BM AFCK, too. While the claimed difficulty to release is really only something that's hard on your fingers. My Military has been solid as a rock, where I've had my AFCK bounce and slice a forefinger viciously.

The DIFFERENCE is that if a liner lock is properly made, you should have no trouble. But some companies (I don't know about EDI) like BM tend to have weaker, not stronger liners, thus making them susceptible to failure.

Another option is to always hold your knife edge-up when thrusting, thus reducing the chances of this happening again. Good luck!
SStarling: After reading your post, I tested my Genesis. Whacked on table-lock held. I then put thick cloth on the back of the blade and hit it with a ball peen hammer five or six times. The lock still held. The liner engages just about half-way. Lock up is solid with no play whatsoever and the line still disengages smoothly and opens with ease. Where does the liner engage the base of the blade? (Note that my MT mini-socom failed the first three times after smacking the spine on a tabletop. Then, somehow the lock "seated" and held.)
Based on their literature and conversations with Will, the EDI Genesis is primarily designed as a utility knife.

For the sport-utility role, the ability to handily close your knife, with gloves, with cold fingers, etc. is important. If you use your knife a lot, a very nestled liner (like a Crawford Kasper) is a royal pain in the ass.

The Genesis seems to provide a happy medium between security from the "Gorilla Grip", and ease of use.

I can sometimes accidentally unlock a Genesis with my left hand, but not with my right. It goes to show that we are not all created equal in the ergonomics department. Many people disengage lock-backs of all placements with regularity, a few guys I know frequently accidentally unlock the AXIS in the natural grip(go figure).

My best advice is to handle before you buy if you are looking for a defensive blade.
Also remember that all folders, regardless of lock design or "strength" are pre-broken from the factory.

In addition, "Tactically" Stabbing a roll of carpet without hand protection seems like a job for a fixed blade.

Glad you are OK.


Anthony P. Lombardo
-will destroy knives for
Hey all. Just got off the phone with Will Fennell, Pres. of EDI. What a nice guy! Genuine concern. Anyway, turns out the liner lock on my knife is faulty. It failed a simple slap on palm test. In fact, I can just hold the knife and close it, defeating the lock, with hardly any pressure. Geez, I wish I knew about this test a few days ago.

Mr. Fennell has asked me to send it back. They are going to fix it but good. It's going to be "better than one off the line" if I remember his words correctly.

JP: thanks for filling me in on the test of your genesis knife liner lock. Between what you said and what Will said, I have renewed confidence with this knife. When I get it back, rest assured I WILL test it.
Will and EDI are a major class act, they never fail to impress me!

SStarling: have you read the Liner Lock Test FAQ yet? That woulda saved you!

I just had a thought about hard use/testing of a new knife. Perhaps, wrap several layers of tape over the first inch of the blade next to the handle. If it collapses, then the tape should stop or minimize the severity of an index finger cut.


That "wrapping the knife edge" idea is the general idea behind the Rolling Lock KFF that I'm having Pat Crawford make for me. I've asked him to leave an additional 1/2" of unsharpened blade edge towards the pivot end. In the event of a lock failure/accidental disengagement, the unsharpened area should minimize or eliminate any cuts to my index finger.


I don't have any problems unlocking my liner lock KFF. I just use my thumbnail. Although, I haven't had any experience with closing it with gloved hands. Since I don't carry my KFF for general cutting, it isn't a big deal for me.


[This message has been edited by Axel Yup (edited 17 March 1999).]